ITP Spring Show 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2-6pm & Monday, May 10, 5-9pm

Aaron Uhrmacher

Aaron Uhrmacher

All My Life is an interactive data visualization that shares moments from my online life in the context of what else was going on in the world during the same time.

Mashups: Remixing the Web,Rest of You

Social media is about sharing what's current. What am I thinking NOW? What's important to me NOW? But how would you feel looking back at all these brief moments you shared in a year, or five...or ten? Might it trigger the same feelings of nostalgia we used to encounter by looking through an old yearbook?

For this project, I've created a database with feeds from 22 of my social destinations (Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, Goodreads). In this data visualization, I re-visit these moments from my past and attempt to contextualize them by referencing the music that was popular at the time and news headlines so as to try and trigger feelings of nostalgia by connecting real and virtual world events.

Each day we reveal special and ordinary moments in our lives with different groups of "friends." Sometimes it's a brief status update on Facebook, others it's a link on Twitter, a picture on Flickr, or a place we've visited on Foursquare.

But these moments are ephemeral and - once shared - often forgotten.

And when these moments pass, they are difficult to re-visit. The sites that do allow you to view your user history only display it in a linear fashion or by choosing a keyword. And for these systems, it can be hard to contextualize the memory.

My goal was to create a unique visualization to revisit these shared moments.

While this project is a particularly personal one, it brings up issues about privacy, data portability and online communications. My hope is that by seeing how I have chosen to archive my online life, others will follow suit.

This project was built using a combination of MySQL, PHP, various APIs and Processing.